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I Just Shot Stormtroopers in VR, and It Was Awesome

SAN JOSE, CA - The Void is back and just as compelling. The Utah-based virtual reality entertainment company attended Oculus Connect 5 to show off its latest experience, which takes place in a galaxy far, far away.

That's right, The Void has teamed with IMLxLab, the immersive entertainment lab focusing on virtual reality by way of LucasArts, to bring us a new Star Wars experience while we wait for Vader Eternal: Episode One to drop next year. Titled Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, this immersive virtual reality experience is truly out of this world.

Similar to the Ghostbusters Dimensions experience I demoed back in 2016, the Star Wars demo requires that you suit up with The Void's proprietary gear. It's comprised of a large glossy headset that delivers 360-degree audio and a vest with haptic feedback. And unlike other VR games, The Void ramps up the immersion by introducing special effects like wind or heat to trick the mind into thinking that you're really in the environment.

But before that, my three teammates and I had to get our mission briefing, which was delivered by Rogue One's Captain Cassian Andor. We were tasked with infiltrating an Empire base in order to track down a crate said to be holding a weapon of devastating power. Once we found it, our orders were to bring the info back to the Alliance. Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy.

Once we were outfitted in our fancy gear, we were directed to stand in a small room. From there, the magic of The Void's expertise kicked in and we were disguised as Stormtroopers. And what was once a nondescript room transformed into the cargo hold of a hijacked Empire supply shuttle complete with a doom-and-gloom droid declaring that we were all going to die and a grizzled pilot giving us directions on how to proceed.

The fun began when we arrived on the base, which was built near or in a volcano. As soon as we stepped out of the ship, we could feel the intense heat. The temperature only rose once our cover was blown and the team was stuck on a quickly sinking landing fighting both Stormtroopers and several lava fleas. We managed to make it out of that sticky situation but got into a more harrowing one towards the end of our demo when we came face-to-face with one of the series' most iconic villains.

Thrilling, immersive and fun as hell, Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire is a must-try experience whether or not you're a fan of the source material.

Credit: Tom's Guide